The Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown Pre-Release Comes With A Hell Of A Revelation
Oh Ubisoft, more specifically Philippe Tremblay-Gauthier, their Director of Subscriptions for Ubisoft+, how little do you know your customers. In a recent interview with GI.biz he revealed an interesting goal; switching their entire customer base to a subscription model. Instead of being able to actually just buy a game on Uplay, Ubisoft Game Launcher, Uplay+, Uplay Passport, Ubisoft Club Ubisoft Connect, you will only be able to get games via their Ubisoft+ Premium and Ubisoft+ Classics subscription services.
For $17.99 a month you will be allowed to play most newer Ubisoft games on release day, or for $9.99 a month you can sign up for the Classic version which gives you a library of just over 50 older games. They won’t offer any other publishers games, just their own. The other services such as XBox GamePass, starting at $60 a year, NVIDIA’s Gamepass, $8 or $16 a month, or Humble Games, $15 a month, offer a wide variety of publishers games and are cheaper. (Your prices may vary as some show CDN prices and some US)
The idea that you would no longer be able to own a game, and your access to them left to the whims of Ubisoft is rather repellent to most PC gamers and many console players. To limit your service to your own products is somehow even worse, considering what the competition is. That competition is also quite aware that their subscription services are add-ons to their main store and not their primary business, something which Ubisoft seems completely ignorant of.
It’s not just gamers venting their spleens, Larian CEO Swen Vincke has also weighed in with fears about what will happen “if subscription becomes the dominant model and a select group gets to decide what goes to market and what not.” We can currently buy and play whatever games we want, for as long as we want. With a subscription only model, games can come and go at the whim of the company and you can bet those decisions will be based on money and not take your desires into account. If not enough people are playing the newest remake or sequel, you can bet the one you like will be taken out back behind the shed and you’ll have no choice but to play the new one, or quit altogether.
We’ve already had to deal with the fact we don’t actually own most of our games, unless you grabbed them from GoG that is, we only the ability to download that game from the store we tossed money at. If that storefront goes away, then so does your game collection but Ubisoft’s plan would be so much worse than that.